E Possible

This is the Daughter doing "Kim Possible." I told her to put a little more ham into it but she just couldn't do it. She said she had to stand up for that madness. I guess she is not a real actress. A real actress would do whatever possible to get the end result. But the picture is cute nonetheless.

I forgot to mention that Dear Sir told me that "slosh" is not a word. When one says "I got sloshed" you can not say "I am a slosh." I do know you can say "lush" but every body says that. "Slosh" sounds cooler. To me. So, if I ever make fun of myself and the red wine again and need to use a word like "lush" without using the word "lush", I will just continue to use "slosh" because it is my own perfect made up word for a person who likes to pretend she gets drunk (who really doesn't and has no intention of it). There, I made it up myself.

Last night Dear Sir and I went Christmas shopping while the crazies went to AWANA. We wolfed down a couple of burgers (see Ann, I do eat out) and a huge pile of fries and then went on our way to Borders. I had to return something, so Dear Sir went to the magazine section (he detests returning things or being any part of the process). When I got back to the magazine rack he was thoughtfully reading something and told me to give him a minute. So I went somewhere else and we met up again and went out to the parking lot. Dear Sir turned to me and said, "I ran into this guy while I was reading a magazine, and I swear, he did a double take when he looked at me and then said, 'has anyone ever told you that you look just like Kiefer Sutherland?' I told him that my wife says it all the time and he said all I need is a cigar in my mouth and we would be twins."

Yes, I do tell him that a lot. My own Dear Sir does look like Kiefer (lucky me). The nose, no, but the eyes and mouth, yes. He has never believed me (he always shakes his head at me like I am a wicked child) so it is funny that some stranger has pointed it out.

I just ran out of coffee. Now, I would panic if I were EmmaSometimes, cause you know, her running out of coffee is like me running out of red wine. May as well IV that precious dark fluid straight into her veins. And she doesn't use Splenda either. I put a big heaping tablespoon in my coffee just for extra cancer, and feel just fine doing it because I have consumed less calories and can use up those calories to eat some chocolate (of course, in the morning with my coffee). I have already eaten a couple of squares.

Well, I better get school running because math is crying in the cabinet, unused and sad. Tomorrow I get to whip out the Latin and perhaps I will use yet another vocabulary word as my title. And----while I am busy doing all that you can all feel jealous because I live with Kiefer.


What Happens When a Recluse Emerges

Here is my Cappuccino Soap I made yesterday. It smells yummy and looks yummy! Reminds me of a truffle.

I just finished making breakfast. Eraser Eater was slow to the table practicing his memory verses for AWANA tonight. When he saw that The Oldest and the Daughter were already feasting on their french toast, he started whining and saying junk like I love them more and I probably poisoned his food.
"What?!" I asked. "I don't want to hear any more malarkey like that come out of your mouth, you hear me?"

"Well," chimed in the Oldest, " I have had thoughts like that before..."

"Of ME poisoning your food?!"

"Well, uh, it was probably a year ago now and it probably only lasted about not even fifteen minutes, so..."

"What the heck?!"

What the heck is right. Now that I typed this out you guys must think I am a maniac.

The Oldest then launched into how Eraser Eater was rolling around in bed singing about money. Well, chanting about money. "He was talking about turtles and money and how much they would cost..."

This kid is a money freak. He claims that he will live with the Oldest because they could split the costs of living. It will be "cheaper." He is only seven.
He makes notebooks of models of cars and things that he will design when he is a man and will sell for "a few thousand" a piece. He talks about how he would make things available for all people no matter if they have money or not. He sounds like a Communist to me. Better get him cracking on Adam Smith before he goes down the tubes.

Last night I went to the homeschool mom's group. I was a little disappointed, to be honest. I brought my toffee bars that are made from sweetened condensed milk (I burned the filling and did not have another can of sweetened condensed milk, so I looked up how to make it myself online and BAM! I did it. It took forever, but it was pretty cool.) and put them on a table. I was a little late for reasons I wish not to get into, and so I put a name tag on and the administrator put a sticker on my back. She said it was for a game. OK.

I can't even remember what people were talking about. It was some local thing, and then the Administrator started talking about the "first" game. Each of us had a sticker on our backs with a school subject typed out on it. We had to ask other ladies questions of what the subject was without anyone telling us directly. Dumb. I started with the lady next to me---she started asking me questions as to what her subject was. It was "algebra." Only two prizes were given and by the time this lady asked me her third question the prizes were already snatched. Finally she guessed and I found no reason for my playing at all. I just took the sticker off my back. The Administrator approached me almost immediately. "So did you guess your subject?" She asked me.
She looked at me questioningly.
"I figured since there were not prizes to be had I would just take the sticker off and cheat. Mine is 'spelling'. I would not have guessed it anyway."

Another lady waved her hand at me and said, "Oh, spelling is easy. You had an easy one! You would have guessed that for sure."

"No," I continued, "I am a moron."

I was sitting there wondering why we had to have games to entertain us.

Then someone rang a bell and it was announced that we were to play the game "Bunko." Except, when they explained it, it was way different from the one time I played it. It takes no one special to win. It is a mindless game of rolling dice and tallying down a stupid score. Tallying down the score is the hard part. I hardly talked to a soul the whole time the games were going on. At one point a lady from my team got up and got some books. She opened a few up (they were homeschool books) and scanned them over. Another lady commented that she must have gotten them from the {homeschooling} library.
"How does that work?" I asked. I wanted to know about their system, etc.
"Books." They both said in unison.
"Do you check them out, or..."
No one answered my question although I am sure they heard me. I was irate. I slammed my lips shut and said "forget about it" in my mind.

Finally I got to the table where the president of the group was (she was the one that asked me to help her do a soap thing with her and I canceled because the kids were sick?) and she sort of looked past me and waved. I looked behind me to see whether she was waving at me or not and no one was there. I guess she was waving at me. "Oh, you're Rachel!" She said at last. I looked down at my name tag. Some lady looked at it too and pronounced my name in German.
"Ladies, Rachel makes soap."
"Which reminds me," I said, digging in my purse, "I have a soap gift for you because I felt so bad about not showing up the other day." I did not want to give it to her in front of the other ladies at the table but I could tell she thought I was strange and put up with me. I pulled out the gift pack of soap I made and handed it to her. She gasped and put her hand on her heart. The lady next to me blurted, "Do you sell this?" and that is all she said.
The German pronouncing lady said, "And you make this how?"
"Oils and lye. You know, coconut oil, palm, Crisco, cocoa butter, that kind of stuff."
She nodded her head in agreement and said, "thought so."
Someone said something about it being hard to do and I downplayed it (like usual) and said it was pretty easy. Dangerous, but easy.

I barely talked to anyone else. Some people asked me a few questions but that was it. Nothing spectacular. The president did come up to me again to thank me for the soap and ask me a question about signing Eraser Eater up for a spelling bee. I was interested in that. I asked her the ages of her girls and she said one was in fifth grade.
"I have a boy that is in fifth grade," I said.
"That's ok," she said. {What, may I ask, is that supposed to mean?} She nodded her head at me like I was a retard.

I do have to admit to you that I have trouble speaking my mind sometimes. Thoughts just don't flow out. I write WAY better than I talk, so maybe people do think I am a retard. But, she needed to know what grade my kid was in so she could send me the proper spelling words for him.

I said to her, "My second grader is the one that will be signed up for the spelling bee."
"I understand," she said.
"My oldest son can't spell worth a lick..." I continued. And here is where I turn myself into the retard she thinks I may well be because I know she thinks this or perhaps thinks this and I get more nervous talking to her and then I end up turning into it.

She nodded her head as if to wave me off and to 'get on with it I am wasting [her] time'.
"It's ok," she said again, quite gracefully this time.

I could tell she was just putting up with me. The sad thing is that she is my age and seems all nice but talking to her is different. Maybe she was nervous. I doubt it though. She seemed pretty comfortable to me. Everything is copacetic, you know? And she is incredibly understanding.

When I came home and told Dear Sir that all we did was play games so hard that we did not have time to talk he shook his head and said, "Just give it another try."

I am not intimidated by these ladies at all, now that I have met them. A few of them have barely gotten their school years started! I am a School Nazi! It is more me that would be looking down at them thinking, "come on, get it together!" But I know many of those ladies have a completely competent school program in their homes and it works well for them and I have no reason to judge or anything like that. I have a lot to learn, actually. I was just hoping that the meeting would be more informative and at least I could make some friends. I was the first one to leave, now that I remember.

Oh well. So, Emma, that is how it went.



Ok, so I am having fun with this photo booth thing and I am having a better day. I was cracking myself up doing it. I have just finished the batch of Cappuccino Soap, so I can't wait to slice it up once it cools. School was relatively simple and straight forward, and tonight I am to go to a homeschool mom meeting. I have no idea what I am getting into, so I hope I am not scared off. Homeschooling mothers continue to intimidate me (even though I am one of them).

So, since I am feeling about a fourth of the way chipper, I will write something sort of chipper. I will not, however, write a cheer:

I am happy when I find stuff like allergy pills.

I am happy when I eat chocolate.

I am happy when I work really hard and then get to relax.

I am happy when Dear Sir asks me to make him popcorn. (Don't tell him I said that!)

Ok, I have to quit this. It is making me a little queasy.

The fact is, no one is happy or content unless things are going their way. At least if I am honest with myself that is what the deal is. No, Eraser Eater, you may not have a melt-down, it will ruin MY day. You get what I mean. I am trying to digest the fact that the only way I will please God is if I live my life like I want to please Him and not myself. It is such a contrary idea or condition from what I am prone to do. Have you ever tried to walk in the opposite direction of oncoming strong wind? That is what it feels like every day. It is a striving that takes strength. I am talking about myself, yes, but I am also talking about every person who is a Christian. It's like I try to tell my Oldest almost every single school day before we start (and believe me, it gets old): You can't get out of it, this is the way it is, so get used to it and enjoy it while you are at it. It is hard to think about enjoying "striving". Or rather, "enduring". Life should not necessarily be difficult from the outside, but it is more of a war inside that makes it the hardest. At least that is what I think. A fight against self.

This reminds me somehow (don't ask me to explain this) of a story C.S. Lewis told about when he was in the war. He and his comrade were down and talking bad about it in the trenches and another soldier was so "in the clouds" about the state of the war and he was exceedingly optimistic to a fault. Lewis could not believe that people could actually be so silly until the very bitter end as death faces them. Lewis was saying that there is a line drawn between pessimism and realism. I think this is true. Why must we lie to ourselves so we feel better when reality is staring us in the face? More optimistic people would say a realistic person is pessimistic.

So---realistically, I am only happy when I get my way.

And---I am not getting my way today but I will be happy anyway. So there. True happiness is finding that I am not in control. I would really mess things up if I were. Thank goodness for that.



This is pretty much how I have felt all week. A picture is worth a thousand words. And I look tired. Raking leaves, making soap and dealing with screaming children.

I know Susie is going to kick my butt if I don't write something.

I about had a brain aneurysm while teaching the boys Latin today. I was trying to get them to translate sentences and tell me the adjective and noun genders. My Expo pen kept running out. Finally once we got to the word "misera" the oldest translated it for me and said, "How you feel, Mom, 'miserable.'"

"Yep, pretty much," I barked.

I tried to write it with the faint Expo pen but I just beat the board instead with it. The Oldest put his arm around me and pat me on the shoulder.

My neighbor came over and told me all about her cheerleading days while I sat in my stink drinking water from my Wonder Woman mug (I ran for a bit) and I listened to her made up cheer with a smile on my face. I told her that I always had hated cheerleaders. She told me that her cheer was especially for people like me.

She also told me that Dear Sir and I are "yuppies" and sort of more "upscale" than other people in how we live. I don't know what that means, but ok. I think it may be because we have icons in our house, but I really have no idea what that means, really. I feel like a total slob most the time and my kids dress themselves, so we are not without a child running around with a hole in his pants or a stain on his shirt. Heck, Eraser Eater wore his "favorite" shirt for three days and I totally did not notice until Dear Sir pointed it out to me kindly during dinner the third night.

"...And we're running out of toilet paper...." he told me last night.

So where was I just a minute ago? Going to the stinking store to buy two mega packs of Quilted Northern. Ok, so I buy upscale toilet paper. But it does really last much longer.

And I keep a relatively clean house. I mean, my neighbor will hardly let me walk in her house. She comes in my house and wows about how clean it is. I always feel like it is a mess because papers are on the table that Eraser Eater left.

Also, the internet keeps knocking me off. So, I will post now before it does it again and I lose my mind. It has been doing this all day.

See you all tomorrow!


Slinging Lye

I forgot there were some pictures of the gig a few weeks ago. Duh. This one is one of the better ones. The new camera is so sensitive that the photos often come out blurry because Dear Sir shakes somewhat like an old man.

I have not gone out one day this week, which means I have no humorous writing material. I have been feeling like a recluse. I run inside, I make soap inside, I school inside, I ask my neighbor (she offered) if she will get me a gallon of milk since she will be "in town". Yeah, living in the country means it is a trip to town. Naturally. Well, I should cut myself some slack. The kids were sick this week with colds. I was supposed to help this lady (who is the head of this homeschool group I just became a part of ) to teach little girls how to make melt and pour soap. I have never done this anyway, so when I called her to cancel because my kids all woke up sick, I didn't feel so bad. I think I scared her a little anyway. She called me last week at the last minute because she saw on my "home school group application" that I made soap and she thought I may be able to assist her. She asked me about how to make soap and you know, I launched into too many details and I am sure I ended up sounding like "blah blah blah" after awhile. Cold Process, Hot Process. I am a Hot Process snob. People who do the Cold Process think that the HP is inferior and that in the process you lose glycerin. They have never done it and they really don't care. All they want to do is CP and so therefore they are CP snobs. There is a literal divide in Soapmaking, mind you. Protestants and Catholic-esque sort of divide. Pretty soon we will all hide behind cars and throw lye at each other. Except we Hot Process people will be faster because hey, we can mix the lye water and the oils at ANY temperature! Those slow Cold Processors will be left in the dust, burning with alkaline pain because they will still be at their sinks, attempting to raise the temperature of the lye water to match the temperature of the melted oils. Slow pokes.

Of course, none of you know what I am talking about and pretty much skipped that paragraph, didn't you? I notice a lot that you guys comment on stuff that is just sort of general---I talk about a book I read or a CD I bought and no one cares. It is totally cool with me because hey, that doesn't matter so much, we all have different tastes. Not everyone just goes and picks up The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot and yearns to talk about it. Yeah, we all love Grant Lee Buffalo and Eisley. Those two aforementioned things are bands. Sorry to be obscure. Ha ha. I wish I had stories of putting in a car stereo or some madness like that, but I don't. In fact, in our nice little VW the cd player does not work. Dear Sir and I try and try to play CDs on it but the laser or something keeps skipping and we just don't have time, money, or the ability to know what to do with it. It is already hard enough to get an oil change. We give up and listen to the radio and I tell you, the radio saddens me quite a bit. What is with this modern music? Why does every "rock" band sound like a whinny kid? I mean, not Oasis Liam Gallagher whinny, but ten year old Green Day whinny. Stupid whinny. I can't stand it. First it was the New Kids recycled into the Backstreet Boys or N'Sync and then now it is Green Day recycled into Whinny Band. I don't know any of their names. I see perfectly sane, wonderful people loving this stuff too and it frightens me severely. Nirvana put an end to the New Kids by pretty much shaming them into the abyss of "where are they now?" and so I am waiting for the next thing to drown out this silly punky childish infection in music. I would rather be tied up wearing scratchy wool in a sunny room with coins on my lap listening to James Taylor than listen to this junk out right now. Dear Sir and I continue to hope as we watch MTV or CD USA or Fuse or VH1 that something worthwhile will come on. Come on! We are always forced into watching "Hogan Knows Best." And frankly, I can handle Brooke Hogan's music more than I can handle the Green Day rip offs (and I hated Green Day from the beginning) today. And that is not saying much.

Don't get me started on Christian music and how every male singer is ten years behind (at least) by yearning to sound like Eddie Vedder. I think it is a part of getting old for me. Old people don't understand young people music. This is especially bad though. It just is.

I know, I am a bit caustic today, eh? I have been making so much soap you have to spray some vinegar water on me to get me to simmer down. I bite, I sting, and don't even attempt to test me with your tongue because you will definitely get a "zap". The only thing to quit this horrible music is to perhaps wash these whinny punk brat's mouths out with soap. So there.


I Am Not Worthy

I just bought the new Sarah McLachlan CD called Wintersong, and I tell you, it is very beautiful. Buy it. I was a bit skeptical at first since I see sometimes that she is tired of trying to write songs (she really struggles with it personally) and I saw it as a way to make money and sing without having to go through the hassle of a tour and all that. Maybe that is part of the attraction for her, who knows. I just have to say that I love her voice; she has the best singing voice of any woman roaming the earth and I am exceedingly jealous! :)

Well, I got up at five fifty and here I am typing away. I imagine my day will be filled with cooking and hearing a football game all around me.



27 Candles

Today it is raining. It is also my little brother's birthday. I have to say "Happy Birthday" into cyberspace at least to have it said.

Now I must literally run.

I have been making loads of soap over the past few days. I have Pearberry, Some Sea Smell, Autumn smell, Oatmeal, some Gingerbread, a bit of Orange Creme, and I will make some Cappuccino, Kitchen Soap (to get the smell of garlic and onion off your hands), and maybe some Vanilla. If any of you want to order some from me (about $3 a bar plus shipping) let me know! Sheesh! I am soapified!

Again, have a happy holiday. And, happy birthday, brother.


Tolerable Morning

The kids woke up sick yesterday with a cold and I made them do school anyway. Not my daughter though. She was the worst. Her eyes were all glossy and she was sniffing up a storm. For the past two days she has been watching movies and playing Memory with either me or "Saint Bob". Who IS "Saint Bob"? I have no idea. Apparently he is really bad at memory, needs the car door opened for him to be let out when we go to the grocery store, and sometimes he brings his friend "Frank Tom." It gets lonely being the only girl, I suppose.

I made some soap (that turned brown-green) and I ran a fistful of miles, and then I made chicken noodle soup for dinner and ate nothing myself except some chips and beans that Dear Sir said smelled awful. When you can't eat anything raw like avocados or tomatoes---you take what you can get and put beans underneath a layer of jarred salsa and some sour cream. It is sad, I know, but at least it has some flavor.

Thanksgiving will consist of just my little immediate family and I will roast a small turkey. For the past couple of years now I have been making the dinner so it is sort of nice. Before we would be around extended family and with one side they would not allow me to make anything except yams and the other side would not want me to make anything but jello. I know, it sounds like I am a terrible cook. I just don't know why it worked out that way. I made a sweet potato pie once and no one dared to eat it except my father in law (I think). These are people that used to think eating Mexican was eating out of a can.

I think I will make more soap today (people have been wanting to buy some from me for Christmas), will skip the running, teach the kids, and drink some coffee. But not in that order. And now that I have officially bored you with absolutely no wit, I will leave it at that because I am not a morning person. The morning does not usually find me in sanguine spirits.

But, before I go---I have to tell you guys about the other night when I wanted a glass of red wine with pizza. We ordered a pizza and so I pulled out one of my waiting bottles. I have a bum corkscrew and so I always uncork the bottles the hard way; with my own strength. That bottle was the hardest thing to uncork. It was so hard, I pulled some shoulder muscle in my attempt and actually had to set the bottle down to just say, "That was a nice attempt, Rachel, but it is not happening." I asked Dear Sir if he would be able to do it. "If you can't do it, Rach, I can't." I wouldn't want him to pull his shoulder muscle either. So I had water with my pizza and the bottle of wine sits on my counter still uncorked and lonely. I will have to buy one of those turbo corkscrews to get that baby open. And to prove to you that I do only drink occasionally, I have not had a glass of wine since the gig on November 7th! Try to hold your jaw closed for that one!

OK, well, I must fill this day with work.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving and be sure to eat some popcorn.


My Judgement Bomb

My neighbor is a really nice lady. She has always been very talkative from the start and I rather like hearing her talk to me. I was a little concerned on moving out here that I would be a bit lonely, but this neighbor breaks up the monotony of the day when I see her. She has a little girl that is my own daughter's age and they play quite a bit.

This neighbor also runs a beauty pageant. I don't know how that works, but somehow it does. She is all worked up lately because she has this pageant coming up and she has wanted me to sing for it (I really can't because I need accompaniment and I will NOT play guitar for the first time in front of people for a pageant because hey, I am too vain for that and well, very nervous). Then she has been making goodie baskets for the contestants (they are mainly girls) and she wants me to make little samples of soap.

Yesterday I went over to her house to retrieve my daughter, who was there too long for Dear Sir's taste (he had not seen her). I had just ran a handful of miles on the treadmill and I was sweaty, ruddy in the face, and of course, I was lacking any make up or anything good. "Oh Rachel," she said as I walked near her kitchen, "You should enter for the Ms. category because I am sure you will win---" I looked at her like she spit in my face. "Well...you should see some of these ladies that are calling me up wanting to enter...." and she shuddered. She already asked me to be a judge and I declined. I can't judge beauty. I can't be judged either. That is one of my worst nightmares!

I am glad that she thinks I am "passable." Reminds me of Mr. D'Arcy saying that Elizabeth was "tolerable."

That is one reason (besides many others) that I would hate to even try out for American Idol. People always tell me to do that. I think the idea is silly, if they really sat down and thought about it. I just would dread going in front of Simon and singing the "Unchained Melody" or something and he would say, "That was absolutely dreadful." Paula would snort and Randy would say, "That just was not happening."

Now, I am not giving you crazy people out there an opportunity to tell me what I can do to change my vocal ability or even my boring songs; I am a little agitated about that lately. If you want to put me over the edge, just tell me I need to change things up or give up completely. I have had too many things in my past that have been horrible in that regard. Music is something where you are literally opening yourself up---you are vulnerable---someone is seeing the other side of your brain at work and then for someone to come and criticise it for your listening ears is rough. I remember as a girl I sang a song for a friend who was taking voice lessons. My whole life I had been told that I was a mature singer for my age, very good, etc, etc. When I was finished with my song she snickered at me and told me that I jiggled my jaw when I sang like Whitney Houston (which I totally don't)---and that shows that I am an immature singer. She continued to rip me a part. I remember standing there aghast. All the things she had to say to me were so weird and wrong, that I completely blocked them out of my memory. I just remember the experience. She told me at the tail end of her critic party that she was the one who "begged" the choir teacher to give me a second chance at try outs our Freshman year.

This teacher was in a bad mood when I was trying out. She was yelling (I mean YELLING) at everyone and when people were done she shouted "NEXT!" at the top of her voice. She was intimidating. My "friend" went ahead of me and sang "My Country Tis of Thee" as instructed to. She had a soft, flighty sort of voice and could stay on key. The teacher nodded as if she were "passable" and marked something in a booklet at the piano, then screamed, "NEXT!" I am shaking just thinking about this. I went up there and sang the same song and before I could get to the third line, the teacher stopped playing, turned to me as if annoyed to no end and asked me sharply, "Why are you trying to sound like people on the radio?!" Mind you, there were a huge number of people trying out all around me. They were all staring at me and watching. I tried to explain myself. She would not let me. She looked at me wide-eyed and said, "I will give you one more chance. Sing it straight." I sang it. She stopped the piano with a bang, turned her big fat body around and said, "Stop trying to sing like people on the radio!" And then I said, "I am sorry, I can't help it. That is just how I sing."
"NEXT!" she screamed. I ran off, trying not to cry.
Then I heard my name before I could leave the building. I turned around and there was the teacher, calling me back to her hell hole and all the spectators with her. I obeyed. I stood there as she picked me apart in front of everyone. She told me that she did not want to deal with me because I said, "That's the way I sing, I can't help it!" and she was sure to use a whinny, mocking voice while putting her hand on her hip as if to imitate me. I looked around. Everyone was wide-eyed and looking at me. SHE MADE ME SING THE SONG AGAIN. This time she instructed me to sing as plainly as possible (no vibrato?) so I just imitated my friend's voice and sang with no vibrato, no character, no real voice at all. Just plain. I was just putting a voice to keys---to notes.
"Much better," she said and I walked off with a heavy heart.

This is what my "friend" was talking about. She said she went to the teacher and begged her to give me another chance as I was walking out of the building. What a good friend, eh?

I thankfully, moved from one school district to another and tried out for another choir (again) at the new school. I had the complete opposite experience. The man begged me to be in his choir and had nothing but embarrassing compliments. He told me stuff that I just can't repeat on this blog---it was like God knew I needed healing from the bad experience. The man loved my voice, my vibrato, the whole thing, and did not say I was trying to act like people on the radio (whatever that means).

Everyone has bad experiences like this. I have had many others. But then I have had better ones more than bad. Somehow the bad is always dominant. It's just that singing can be so raw. At least for me it is. I can't imagine what it would be like to be judged by people for my looks.


They Are Trying to Escape

Today the kids and I had a really leisurely day of school and then watched Anne of Green Gables. The boys thought it would never be over. At one point, Murilla loses her temper and is firm with Anne when she is seen with Gilbert in his buggy. Anne floats upstairs in her distress, and Murilla follows her and says, "I am sorry Anne, for losing my temper."

Eraser Eater said, "What?! She just lost her temper?! You should see my mom scream at us!" And then he held his belly and laughed under the coffee table.

Then I went to the bathroom and sat on a puddle of urine on the toilet seat. I bet Murilla would scream over that madness, but do you know what I did? I wiped it up and said, "Thanks for peeing on the seat, guys....Put it UP when you need to go." I didn't even raise my voice and I am covered in various bacteria from my children's kidneys. That's wonderful to think about. I probably should go wash....

I had the kids write their Grandma a letter this morning before school and the Oldest was having a real hard time. He claimed that he had nothing to say. Finally he got the idea that he would draw and so he drew a picture of a dog. "This is TERRIBLE!" he yelped out. "I can't draw anything! I am just not good at it, Mom."

"Well, you can't be good at everything," I said to him. "You have so many talents, you can't have them all..."

Eraser Eater, perking up at this point and always game for the chance to put in his pesky two cents said, "Yeah, you can't be good at everything like Bach, or Beethoven or that freak who made the Mona Lisa! Whooohahahah!"

Nope, no one can draw like that freak who made the Mona Lisa. But the Oldest does draw better than him NOW, wouldn't you say? That old chap is dead.


You're My Wonderwall

I am in a dismal sort of mood (as you all know I am a bit melancholy anyway)---so I get this way from time to time. Whenever I see this photo it always makes me laugh. What the heck is going on? Why is Eraser Eater closing his eyes? My Oldest is acting like a freak. This is what happens when I let them mess with the photo booth on this computer. I should let them do some tomorrow so I can post another example of goonhood.

I got school done today; that was a feat. I changed the strings on my guitar too. I felt that one. I always stab my fingers with the ends of the strings and believe me people, it hurts badly. It makes the hair stand up on top of my head and body every time. I bled for a bit and then kept stringing the thing up.

Eraser Eater told me the other day that I was the "best mom" and "no one could out mom" me.

I made him repeat it again because I thought it was funny. He said:

"You are the best mom, and NO ONE CAN OUT MOM YOU!" He flailed around like a crazy boy and bounced on my bed.

"No one?!" I asked, "Really?!"

"Yes! Except maybe Mrs. H." And then he ran off as fast as he could and laughed all the way downstairs before I could catch him and tickle him to death.

Mrs. H. IS a fabulous mom. (Mrs. H.--note that I used the word "fabulous") If I am second best, that is good enough for me.



I can't think of anything to write about. My life often just jumps into the deep pools and swirls of homeschooldom and motherhood. Someone whines, I have to be firm. Someone cries, I have to console. Someone yells, I have to scold. I did not consume enough calories today so I took the kids to the library and felt faint the whole time. I would dread stooping down because when I would get back up I would see lights in my eyes and birds fluttering here and there. I have been diagnosed with hypoglycemia but I do not eat the right way (absolutely no sugar of any sort---pretty Atkins). I try to eat better, but I am also allergic to raw stuff so I don't get enough fiber. So, pretty much to make things more clear, I am up the creek.

You know, whenever I drink red wine I get a little red myself. I am probably allergic to the sulfites in it. I hate allergies. I hate saying I am allergic to anything. It is embarrassing. It is like wearing a sign around my neck proclaiming that "I am special". I can't stand the word "special".

So, speaking of red wine----I love the stuff you know. And yes, truly the last time I ever got drunk (I think drunkenness is a sin) was when I got alcohol poisoning after drinking a whole half bottle (one of the huge ones) of Smirnoffs. I was laid up for two weeks throwing up and thoroughly ill. I remember laying in the backseat of my boyfriend's car rolling around in misery. The whole time I was drunk I remember saying, "Is my tongue black?" What an idiot I was. Well, I am still sort of idiotic. BUT--that truly was the last time I got drunk. Well, actually, one of the only two times I ever did. So, every time I sip from my glass of wine I look at the glass. I HATE the little dribble of wetness my lips leave after I take a little draught. It literally makes my stomach churn. I asked a friend once what she does to the little dribble when she sees it.

"Oh, I just wipe it off with my finger!" she said, laughing.

"That's sort of sick," I say. "Who knows what is on your finger when you wipe it and then there goes the glass straight to your mouth again!" I felt a little queasy thinking about it.

"Why? What do you do?" She wondered.

"I take my napkin and wipe it like this," I said. I proceeded to show her exactly how I wipe the rim of the glass, producing a shiny clean area once again. Sort of like a priest. I continued, "It's the holy way."

She laughed in my face. "Only you would come up with that!"

I have to eat with particular utensils too. It is bad enough that I have to stick metal in my mouth, but I am used to it. I just can't use certain ones. If I am at someone's house and they have utensils that I think are ugly and wrong looking, I have to try my best to ignore it. I admit that no one else has these issues mentally, but I have to still live with this.

We were at the Smithsonian this past weekend (the National Portrait Gallery) and I had to skip the coin section. Yeah, they have ancient coins that most people would enjoy looking at but I had to walk right through and try not to look if I did not want to lose my appetite for a week.

A couple of years ago one of my kids (it was the girl or Eraser Eater, I can't remember) came to me sucking on something. It was a number of pennies (I shouldn't write this, it is making me ill)---I started screaming and I somehow got them out of the child's mouth and went to the bathroom and gagged in the toilet for a spell. Good way to turn me into a bulemic.

Ok, enough.


They Are Taking Over

Tonight I made donuts for dinner. I know. Donuts. I feel so guilty eating them because I used almost a half a bottle of canola oil to make a batch and only a thin amount was left on the bottom of the fryer when I was done. Talk about soaking up the fat. Imagine if you ate some of those things regularly. Sheesh.

If any of you have any idea where the bottle of allergy pills are that I just bought please inform me. I have been searching for them for two days. I hate losing things. I about had a heart attack when I went to the cupboard to get them and they were not there. The day before I had my daughter (who is five) dole them out to all who needed one for the day and she swears she put them on the counter. I had a hard time believing her. This is coming from the girl who took my keys one day and hid them under a tree. "If you know where my keys are," I said desperately, "please tell me." I was so persistent. It got me places though because, sure enough, she stepped outside for a bit, walked back upstairs where I was standing, and handed me the set of keys with some grass and roots stuck to them. I could not scream at her because a real estate agent and her pack of nerdy prospects were in the house and I had to maintain my composure. I had to get out of there too. But this is an old post.

So, you can understand how I do not trust my girl. She is so wonderful, so sweet, so loving, but she is sort of sneaky. Girls are sneaky. I have pretty much torn the house apart though. When the phone rings I practically think it is someone who will say on the other line: "Your allergy pills are in the hole in the tree in the front yard."

No, I have not looked in the hole in the tree. I have looked (believe it or not) in the shed, in a bucket outside, in the red wagon, under leaves, on the porch, on top of the frige, in every drawer and crack known to man, in every cabinet, down the sink (I am nuts), in the trash (even the outside trash), in every room except the boys' room, every bathroom, under anything that can possibly have room for a bottle to roll under (including the treadmill) behind the piano, behind the stove---everywhere.

I saw a kid show today called Kipper the Dog and he was looking for something important to him. Dear Sir said, "Hey! That's like the allergy pills!"

I have even looked in vases and various other little holes. Girls are sneaky, I tell you. Sneaky.




Last Night's Show

I thought the gig went pretty well last night; I just had a very good time, as did everyone else in the band. I hope we raised a lot of money for the benefit too, but it was election night and not many people were wanting to go out, I am sure. Plus, it was raining. I think we had a pretty decent crowd though. The place was for the most part filled---just not overflowing like it normally would be. I think too that the gig started an hour later due to voting times. I think the voting ended over here at seven o clock. I got a lot of wonderful feed back, but we were up first (contrary to what the site for Jammin' Java has up) so I was not able to talk to hardly anyone and hear much from the crowd. We immediately sat down and listened to the Placeholders who were for the most part acoustic and fun. They had me come up and sing some songs with them in the middle of their set. I did "Further and Further Away" (a Cheryl Wheeler song) with Laura Waters (the female lead for the Placeholders/Defectors) and I was so excited to at last sing a Sarah McLachlan song, "Possession" with Laura singing back up for me. I thought it went excellent.

Here was last night's set list for the Einsteins and me. The ones marked with an * are songs that I sang (at least the lead vocals):

1. Hard Day's Night (by the Beatles)*
2. Speed of Sound (by Coldplay)*
3. Shot at You (by Nils Lofgren)*
4. Folsom Prison (by Johnny Cash)
5. Don't Let Me Down (by the Beatles)*
6. Dream (by the Everly Brothers)*
7. Gimme Three Steps (by Skynyrd)
8. Wonderwall (by Oasis)*
9. When You Say Nothing at All (covered by Allison Kraus and Union Station)*
10. Oh! Darling (by the Beatles)*
11. Suspicious Minds (by Elvis)
12. Honey Don't/Route 66 medley (by the Beatles, by Nat King Cole)*

I know you all wish you were there.

I did drink some wine, Susie, I have to so I don't get too nervous, therefore resulting in no vocal constriction and dry mouth on the first song. I walked around with my blue solo cup, fooling everyone that I was drinking water when really I popped open a bottle of red in the green room. I did not trip over any chords, so that was good. All my band members take care of me and make sure I get those little niceties. They are the best. My bassist (she is a chick--which is just rockin, if you ask me) asked me before we went up, "did you get your 'juice'?"

So I got zero sleep last night, and my kids fell asleep during the Placeholder's set because they were so tired (it was WAY past their bed time). The girl usually goes to bed around 7, Eraser Eater around 8, and The Oldest around 9. Eraser Eater fell asleep on my lap during the Placeholder's set and everytime they were done with a song, people would clap and he would jolt awake for a few seconds and clap furiously and then when it would all subside he would sink back into sleepdom again. I thought it was sort of cartoonish of him.

I also met Angela for the first time last night. That was a real treat. I was so glad she came to see us perform! She had to get the low down on who Eraser Eater, The Oldest and the Daughter are. When she approached us she turned to Dear Sir and said, "You must be 'Dear Sir'!"
We all had a laugh over that. Thank you, Angela, for coming!

So now I am going to contemplate a nap and maybe do some house cleaning. My house is a sort of wreck. Back to the grind. :)



Tonight is the night; I will be singing for the Einsteins and passing out a few t-shirts (with my name on them, which is absolutely hilarious). I really, really hope it goes well. In one of the songs I have to sing a Beatles song where Paul McCartney belts it out and I just can't scream like he can. In fact, I don't know how to scream. I don't think I ever have before.

My kids have never seen me sing in a live concert setting either, so it will be fun for them to see me up there. Dear Sir is going to try to get a little video action in and bring the camera. I have to be sure to bring myself a bottle of red wine "for the road". Plus, to make things even BETTER when I sing, and to really smooth the pipes, I make sure I eat a huge bacon cheeseburger before going up. Works like a charm. That was some advice from a record producer that never produced a record for me---probably because I really suck. But I won't let that stop me from singing and making a fool of myself in public. I enjoy it too much.

IF the concert goes well and say, a recording of it is passable, maybe I will put a song or two on my music site. Who knows. And then it is very possible that I will get onstage, trip over a cord and break my butt.

You just never know.

If you are local, come see me.


Bono Was My Boyfriend

The other day I went out and found some used CDs at the local used cd store. I found the recent Travis CD, some Richard Ashcroft CD (formerly from the Verve) and U2's Rattle and Hum. Usually I would not have picked up the U2 disc because I know it so stinking well and I have gotten tired of U2. I used to have the CD and I let someone borrow it....you know how that goes. People rarely return things. Anyway, Dear Sir had been getting "Silver and Gold" stuck in his head so he bought it on itunes. I figured when I found the whole disc I could listen to "Heartland" once again and "Desire." Triple score. It got me thinking about how obsessed a fan I was in highschool.

I loved U2. I mean LOVED them. I actually had a huge love for Bono (back before he was such an annoying political icon) and I thought he was my "boyfriend". At least, that is what I would tell people. I went to school in the South (I was formerly from California, so I was a bit different in everyone's estimation) so no one knew who the heck Bono was. No one knew hardly who U2 was. I wore U2 shirts all the time, spent my money on U2 memorabilia, cds, buttons, postcards, banners, posters, you get me. I only say that people in my school did not know who U2 was because they were BEHIND. The South is always behind. If someone walked around with a Depeche Mode shirt on, no one would know who they were. "Who the heck is that?!" they would say. You would just have to roll your eyes because they were so steeped in Hootie and the Blowfish and Collective Soul that it made you want to puke. So, point is, I was a sort of weirdo in school, always donning some U2 junk, claiming Bono was my boyfriend. I was so used to saying this that it just sort of "stuck" with me even when I had "real" boyfriends. They would just roll their eyes at me. I remember specifically one time I borrowed a "Kill Bono" shirt from my boyfriend (he was rather sick of Bono) and wore it to school to freak people out. They all almost had heart attacks. They thought I had lost my mind.

I wore U2 shirts so much, in fact, that the teachers started to notice. My American History teacher (who got off the subject very liberally, I may add) noted my shirt and said, "U2? Oh yeah, I remember a band called U2. They opened for (I can't remember---someone stupid) during their first album...."

"Boy?" I said.

"Yeah, I guess----Uh, and the lead singer---he was really sort of annoying and energetic---he danced around quite a bit and jumped on the amps and stuff." I am sure he had something more to say about it, but it wasn't from a fan's perspective, so I sort of blocked it out. All I remember is the class looking at me and laughing and feeling like they knew then a little something about U2, now that the teacher had some experience with them.

I told a recent friend one time (who is a bit older than me and was partying before I was born) a few years ago that I was a big U2 fan in my old days. He said, "Yeah. They sucked. They opened up for this really great band called the 'Suburban Lawns'. You had to see them. They were great."

The Suburban Lawns? Huh? WE ARE TALKING ABOUT U2!!!!!!

Anyway, let's fast forward to my days when the kids were very little and I was living in Idaho with no car to my name and I was in the little house with the big huge hedge.

A salesman comes to the door. He is blonde, young and fresh out of college, and sort of good looking in a foreign sort of way. He has tote bags full of books and he is trying to sell them to me. His accent is thick.
"You are from Ireland," I say.

"Yes, let me show you these books."

"Anything, for a guy from Ireland," I say to him. {I know I must have sounded stupid. I had a kid on my hip, a kid trying to get out the door, and it was BLAZING hot outside. Gotta love those hot Idaho days. Ick. This Irish guy was sweating like a sieve.}

We look at the books on the porch. I have no money, there is no chance of me buying the books. I have, what? Thirteen dollars in the bank?

"I used to be a huge U2 fan," I say like a school girl.

"Ooh, yes," he says and smiles as he looks up (am sure, thinking of the Emerald Isle).

He is holding a pen and he is showing me prices on a chart.

"Bono was my boyfriend in highschool," I continue. I am, of course, remembering the good ol' days when everyone knew he was my boyfriend, even though he wasn't.

The guy drops his pen and stares at me blankly, like he has seen a ghost. He mumbles, "Bon---boyfr--?"

"It's a joke," I said, "I used to be so obsessed with Bono that I used to call him my boyfriend."

He laughs heartily, feeling like a fool, picks up his pen and says, "You really had me there."



Lately I just want to walk around in sweats or at least running clothes and do nothing. I don't want to put on jeans or khakis, or anything that does not have an elastic waist. I am not really getting it. I don't want to wear any of the clothes I have except stuff that resembles a sweatshirt, sweats, or sweatshirts and sweats. They are the only things that come to mind.

I have always been a person that has put on some make up, but you know, I don't even care lately. I don't even care if my hair is "done" as in straightened or even curly with some mousse in it or something. I feel like I am slowly getting lazy. I don't know if I just need new clothes or if I need to go crazy and run like a crazy person like I did during the summer or what.

And I just noticed yesterday that my hair used to be thick and now it isn't. Weird, huh?

I am losing my mind, I am losing my hair, I am losing my wits, I am losing my gumption...

That's it. I have to run tonight. Get on the old treadmill.

Homeschooling mothers---is this a normal thing? I know that Jennifer has struggled with this---

I tell Dear Sir that I want to wear nothing but sweats and he says, "Good. Sweats are awesome." When I know I look terrible he says, "You look nice!" I am literally taken aback, look at myself and what I have on and say, "Huh?"

I have a good husband. And we are both on crack, I guess.



Just found this one (I had been thinking about this particular thing lately and thought I would just post it again):

Thoughts Float Up From the Steam

I am in the mood to write just now because I just finished a set of deep contemplation while ironing Dear Sir's few pieces of spring/summer attire. Maybe there is a good thing about ironing that I never realized.

I was thinking about my father in law. He has to be the coolest father in law alive. I thought about the times when I had house-breaking-down issues and I called him. He is retired so he was always available for me. I think he made himself available for me as well because he took a great liking to me. He still does. I have mentioned before that my daughter has poop problems. Her brother, Eraser Eater, had them too in his time. It was really awful. He would literally sit on the pot and scream at his poop, telling it that he hates it, wants it to die, etc. etc. It gets embarrassing, sad, and hilarious. He would retain, retain, retain until he had to deliver a big healthy baseball and then do it all over again. This took a toll on our toilet. Let's not forget to remember that I had an inferior plunger then too. I was not well-versed with plungers back then. I just remember those days as being full of fecal matter up to my---well, just all over my body. Whenever the kids are sick or some accident happens, I am the one that cleans that madness up because Dear Sir would just add to it. You know?

So, one day the toilet was so bad I just didn't think it was going to work anymore. I called Dear Sir's father and he came over in a jiffy. My own younger brother was around the house then with me and so they were both laboring over my toilet. Apparently the damage was so bad that my father in law had to remove the toilet from the floor. I immediately felt a rush of gratitude and obligation (perhaps that is why I am writing this now). He and my brother carted that crap-infested porcelain thing to the grass outside and my father in law proceeded to take a stick and work unclogging it.

Usually what happens with my father in law and me is a little "lesson". He would take me along like we were on a home improvement show and show me "how it is done". He said I had a knack for mechanical things and he liked my being his "assistant." So when he got that toilet down on the grass, he had me kneel down there beside him and watch.

He said (and excuse my French), "You see, there, Rachel, it is a matter of scooping out the shit." I didn't think I had ever heard him cuss before. I imagined myself taking a stick and using it to gingerly scoop out human feces and I thought, yeah, I might say that too. It really stunk. It was bad. I mean, this was weeks of poop just clogging up the pipes. Maybe I won't get into it anymore. Let's just say that that patch of grass he left the poop on got really green.

So I come back from my reverie while ironing and think, "Man, my father in law must really think I'm something."


Raking Leaves

I grew up in California. I have never done yard work in my life with the exception of trimming the huge hedge back in Idaho at the house Dear Sir and I owned. I have mowed a lawn once.

So yesterday I thought that I was clever and helpful and wonderful. I raked the sea of fall leaves in my front yard with much optimism about the prospect of raking the backyard today (in my spare time). I raked like a mad woman. My wrist suffers some sort of carpel tunnel if I twist it some weird rack holding sort of way, and my back muscles are just ACHING. Oh my aching back. The kids came out yesterday to help me a bit too. Well, I sort of seethed if they did the wrong thing. I was on a mission. I was makin' piles, rakin' them on the tarp, and here you go, putting them away in the woods. Cool, huh? I was working hard. Real hard.

I cleaned out the shed in my whirl of cleaning madness and organized the whole thing. I put up shovels on nails, I found nice little places for playing balls, the scale (you remember it is in the shed so I won't weigh myself, right?), and other various things like peat moss and buckets and stuff. I even found a HUGE black widow spider perched up on some board in the corner of the shed. It was really huge. Very huge. Scary huge. The mother of all black widows. It was all splayed out looking very threatening. I decided to take a little piece of wood on the work bench and see if I could squish it. Yeah right. It CLICKED away. It made clicking sounds when it moved. Yikes. I know, I will murder a mole but a clicking spider freaks me out. I could not let it live though. I had to end it's life. I put on some gloves and got some acme bug spray. I slowly removed plank after plank of wood and sprayed like a madwoman. Finally I found it on the third plank, sort of curled up. Yick, yick. I sprayed it until I got it on the shed floor and stepped on it. Done.

I even defended my family yesterday.

So, I wake up this morning to my aching back and I sleepily opened the blinds to see my handiwork from yesterday. You guessed it, there was no handiwork. My yard was not even leaf-free for 12 hours! Probably not even six! I called Dear Sir in my despair and he laughed at me and said, "You don't have anything else to do; go do it again!"



I'm going to pull an EmmaSometimes---I love this post and have wanted to re-run it so she has given me a good excuse. This post was from five or six months ago---the day we moved into our new house in the country:

Mole Murder

The kids were voicing to me about how "bored" they are. Seeing as how we just got back from the pool, this made me ill. So what did I do? I got out a bucket, Murphy's oil soap, and a rag and said, "mop the floor." I made them get on their hands and knees and everything. I must say my floor is nicely clean now. They actually enjoyed themselves too.

I didn't know that living out in the country was such a crazy thing. The first day we got here the kids were playing outside and found a mole. They wanted me to look at it because they were not sure what it was but I was certain that some killing had to be done. I went outside and sure enough there was a mole, just up from the surface, playing dead but twitching a little. I told the kids to wait for a minute and I went inside. I asked Dear Sir, "So, aren't moles harmful to the yard and the irrigation? Should I kill it?"

"Yes, kill it," he said.

I went to the shed and got a shovel with a point on it and went to where the mole was and where the kids were standing all around it. "It dug its way back inside the ground!" the eraser-eater yelped.

"I'll find him," I said. I dug my way a little and sure enough found him just below the surface of the soft earth. I had him on the shovel. He continued to play dead. I set him down on the ground and hacked at his middle. Blood went all over the shovel and gushed out of his mouth. More like shot out. The kids jumped back in disgust. The eraser-eater (my middle boy) whimpered a little and wailed how he thought I was being mean by killing the poor mole.

"Bad for the yard," I said, "I just bought this house too."

"Who cares about the house!"

I dug the mole a little shallow grave and put the earth back on him.

"That poor mole!" The two youngest ones exclaimed.

I felt bad but knew that it was right and meet to kill the mole. Amen.

I went inside. "Did you kill it?" Dear Sir asked.


"Good, don't tell me about it," he said.

The next day I caught the kids outside. They were all huddled around the old grave of the mole. The eraser-eater was placing what it looked like a number of rocks on the ground.

"What are you doing?" I asked, a little mad.

"We dug the mole back up and re-buried him," the boy whined.


"Yes, and we put these stones here to mark his grave so that we know where he rests," he said.

"He needed a proper burial," my oldest blurted out.

"Did you touch it?" I could barely contain my anger.

"She did--" they pointed to my girl, "but we didn't really."

I marched them all inside and told them how horrible it was to dig up some dirty animal and touch it. I made them all wash their hands thoroughly.

Then the two youngest (Eraser Eater and the girl) proceeded to take the rest of the evening to play "mole." They closed their eyes and crawled on the ground saying, "We're moles! We can't see!"

And Mommy hacks at us with shovels.